Speed, stubbornness lead to wins at Mile High Nationals

‘I love this race track,’ says Greg Anderson after he notches his 92nd win


Greg Anderson is very fond of Bandimere Speedway.

Anderson, the 58-year-old from Mooresville, North Carolina, drove his Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro to a first-place Pro Stock finish for his second consecutive victory at the Dodge Mile High Nationals, held July 19-21 at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison.

He was one of four professional Mile High Nationals winners.

Steve Torrence continued his dominance of the National Hot Rod Association Top Fuel division by winning his eighth race of the season.

Tommy Johnson Jr. was the Funny Car champion as he won for the first time at Bandimere after getting to four previous finals in different classes at the track.

Andrew Hines secured his sixth Pro Stock Motorcycle victory of the season.

Anderson, a four-time Pro Stock champion at Bandimere, admitted to wondering if he could ever win again since it had been a year since he won last season at the Mile High Nationals.

“I am very stubborn,” said Anderson, who notched his 92nd career win with his 10th straight win over Matt Hartford in the finals. “You ask yourself will I or can I win again. Father time is tough, It’s not that you can’t have a life with some of these guys out there, it just becomes more difficult over the years to do it every time. I am still very blessed to be able to do this. It’s hard to win but we put it all together here without a doubt.

“I love this race track. I love Bandimere and love racing a mile high. It seems to be the best car I have each year. I consider this my best chance to win each year. I knew that coming into last year’s race and going into this year’s race. It was probably my best chance but that doesn’t mean I don’t have other chances. It feels wonderful to get the job done. Everybody did a great job.”

Torrence and Clay Mullican both struggled with traction but things have been going Torrence’s way this season as he won the Top Fuel finals thanks to a superior elapsed time. He has already clinched a spot in the Countdown to the Championship.

He tied legendary Don Garlits with 35 Top Fuel career wins.

“It’s very humbling to be mentioned in the same sentence with that guy,” Torrence said. “He pioneered so many things and he was the greatest. When you have a car as consistent as ours, sometimes you benefit. I relish these moments because they don’t last forever.”

Johnson Jr., driving a Make A Wish Charger, first competed in a bracket race at Bandimere in 1984 and he usually launches a late season surge with a good performance at the Mile High Nationals. This season, however, he claims the team has started faster with a goal of finishing strong.

He downed Bob Tasca III with a 308.50 mph, 6.950 elapsed time run in the Funny Car finale.

“I’ve wanted to win here for so long because the Bandimere family is so great,” said Johnson Jr., who was racing for Make A Wish guest Porter Johnson who was the honorary starter of the races. “I came here for the first time as a kid with my Dad and they’ve always treated us well.”

Hines, who has also secured a place in the 2019 NHRA playoffs or the Countdown to the Championship, beat four-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion and teammate Eddie Krawlec with a 7.174 run to win the 54th Wally trophy of his career.

“I never imagined this season would be like this,” said Hines. “Lately I’ve been in the right place at the right time. I’m going to ride the wave. I just hope that when the Countdown comes, I’m as strong as I have been this year.”

Torrence was the top qualifier in Top Fuel. On July 19, he recorded a 3.738 elapsed time with track record speed of 330.31 mph, which was the first 330 mph run in Bandimere history.

Richard Freeman, Elite Motorsports owner, earned the top qualifying spot in Pro Stock in his 2016 Camaro. Freeman got into the car when regular driver Rodger Brogdon couldn’t commit to drive in the NHRA’s Western swing, which includes Bandimere.

Freeman was eliminated in the second round of the eliminations by Anderson.


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